Tonight’s call was very cheerful! Except the fact that she still didn’t like Spanish class. You can’t win ‘em all.
She was blindfolded in her math class, because, obviously.
She is ridiculously fond of the goats. They are thinking of milking the goats to make soap. They have a meat cow named Buddy and a pregnant cow named Holly. Sylvia still hasn’t seen all of the barn cats.
It’s movie night, but Sylvia is going to play games with some kids instead.
Her nano was deemed OK! Hooray.
Her roommate talked her into letting her give her a makeover! Sylvia said, “I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself in for.” This is the roommate who had a distinct goth flair and is, evidently, a major knife expert! Aaron and I were both like, “PLEASE TAKE PICTURES!”
She got letters from two of the teachers at my school, which was super sweet. One person had told me she was sending her a letter, but the other was a surprise.
She had to get off the phone because they were going to vote on which game to play. She singsonged, “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!” as she got off the phone.
Don’t mind me, I just have unicorns leaking out of my eyes.
Last night was the bonfire and a game of Vampire, which Sylvia described as an elaborate game of tag. She also said once she got tagged she knew where her friends were hiding and chased them all out whereupon they were tagged. Way to sell out your friends, kid.
They went on a 7 mile canoe ride this morning. (what even is her life, too awesome)
Regular classes start this week, so that’s a new thing. I’m interested to see how she deals with more homework. Fingers crossed!
She did her laundry and said it, “wasn’t that hard.” That’s my girl.
Sylvia called this evening and told us all about the trip to the county fair, where she ate cotton candy dippin’ dots, a caramel apple, a slice of pizza and 3 deep fried oreos. So, totally her father’s daughter. She said she only rode 1 ride because the tickets were a dollar each and some of the rides cost 3 tickets! She was all, “Too rich for my blood,” which was hysterical. I guess having to manage her money is working.
She also got her nano taken away, because it violates the technology policy, which made me slightly furious. It is an ancient nano that doesn’t even connect to the internet. I guess it was a problem because it can play video? I totally get the technology policy and support it, but I have no idea what our options are for her being able to listen to audiobooks if even that ancient nano is too advanced. Sylvia flipped out when I said I would email to find out what would be acceptable. She is obviously upset she ‘broke’ a rule, even if she didn’t do it on purpose. She would just rather have nothing. UGH. We had to stop talking about it because it made her feel bad.
She said she made amazing tomato sauce today with a bunch of the tomatoes from the garden!
Tonight they are having a bonfire and playing a game outside called Vampire. It sounds amazing. She has tomorrow off of school and they are going canoeing.
She wanted us to tell her what it was like at home without her.
Has it really only been 1 week? It feels like forever.
She called just as I was getting off the metro, so deanhugchester got to hear my half of this conversation as she drove me to her house.
Everything is still awesome. She took her Spanish placement test and her belief is that if there is a class lower than beginner that is where she’ll be. She wasn’t upset about it though, so that’s good.
She’s started reading Green Glass Sea for her book club. She says, “I have sooooo much reading, ugh.” But she’s doing it, and enjoying it, she just thinks she is a slow reader.
She reexplained the chicken thing and it did, in fact, involve putting the chickens in a mailbox and pushing them out with a plunger. [shrug emoticon]
She likes the food!!! Those who have eaten dinner with us know this is kind of a miracle.
When I said I was so glad she was happy, she said, “Mom, I love it so much here. Every morning when I wake up it’s getting cooler. I step outside and it smells so good. Like fall, but not fall just anywhere, fall in Ohio.” So, there’s that.
Rules: In a text post, list ten FICS that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them!
It took me forever to sit down and do this, and still I feel like this list is incredibly incomplete.
Pie Without Plot I didn’t know if I should put this first or last to emphasize how much this is the perfect piece of fanfiction. But it is. I think it will always have a very special place in my heart.
Rvr Ro11435 This is another one that I think of at odd times. It’s AU, but somehow translates all the weird neurosis Cas & Dean have into things that make sense in the real world. I just…yeah…it’s really great.
Appoggiatura I’m not sure what drew me to this one. Sometimes I can read a summary and be like, yep, I’m gonna like this one. This wouldn’t necessarily fall into that category, but it is still one of my favorites. I was instantly hooked. If felt very different from a lot of fics, but I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Cas in particular had an interesting characterization that felt fresh to me.
Après & Dark Side of the Moon I’m putting these together because they are by the same author. Après just knocked me completely dead with sweetness and Dark Side of the Moon was so haunting.
Ridiculous Cuddling Fluff I think the name says it all. Except, not really, but I don’t really have words for it either. It just is what it is, which is amazing.
What Holds Us Up This one is so lovely. I’m not a fan of John Winchester, but I do like it when Dean gets a chance to finally deal with his relationship with his father in a healthy way.
Consort This is the only WIP on the list, and I’m terribly worried that it might be abandoned. Fair warning: it has some horrible, terrible sex that seems like it is never going to end (not poorly written, just that the actually sex in the story is terrible) and it is kind of hard to get through that part, but it is so worth it. It is so well written and once the sex improves it is just scorchingly hot.
I feel like I’ve left so many great authors off of this list including my very tagger herself, whose every work I have read and enjoyed.
I was 2 minutes into my run when she called. Aaron had JUST gotten home and he hasn’t talked to her since we dropped her off, so I turned around and walked home so she and Aaron could talk.
She was still happy. She had a great time at the county fair. She introduced some classmates to funnel cakes. She saw the local glass studio owners there and the lady remembered her from when we stopped by on our last visit. Sylvia evidently stood there a while and watched the demonstration AND was answering people’s questions. LOL.
They had an overnight camping trip. She had fun in spite of some tent mishap.
Tonight is movie night, but Sylvia thought she might pass TO READ A CHAPTER OF HER BOOK FOR BOOKCLUB.
Sylvia seemed to call mostly to assure me that though she dropped a speaker on her toe, she’s “totally fine now.”
She was happy as a clam. She was telling me some crazy story of getting ready for going to the county fair tomorrow. I guess there are some sort of chicken races? And they were testing out the chickens? To decide which one to take? I don’t know there were kids talking loudly in the background, but it seemed to involve pushing a chicken out of a mailbox with a plunger?
She said, “Maybe I’ll call again tomorrow, but don’t worry if I don’t. I might just be busy. Like at camp I wrote a lot of letters at first, but then I had so much to do I couldn’t write so much.”
She said she missed us, but she said it so happily. My heart feels like it might burst directly out of my chest.
it is TOTES OKAY to be sad about this. why wouldn’t it be?
I think my most recent experience of sadness was so overwhelming and lasted so long that I’m a little gun-shy of letting myself FEEL sad, if that makes sense? Like, yes, an appropriate level of sadness is to be expected, but when I picture myself sad I imagine how I was after Chris died and I get worried that it will look the same, which is, of course, stupid because sending your child to an amazing school where she is happy if homesick is a very different sadness from your brother dying, but LOL EMOTIONS: HOW DO THEY WORK?
Sylvia called tonight and I wasn’t expecting it. I actually missed the call at first and then freaked out and called her back, but luckily she still had her phone.
She was calling because she was homesick, but everything she said about school was how much she loves it and how great it is. She was even positive about the small amount of homework she has gotten (and done!).
She got “micro-economy” (total montessori speak) for her Occupation (which is kind of like their science class and they do it in 2 week blocks). One of the things they are learning is how to write checks (insert some cute face emoji).
She got the top bunk. She’s getting along with her roommates. Her chore this week is snack clean up and her cleaning zone is the studio.
She asked when we were coming to visit and luckily we already have that planned.
Guys. She started crying at the end. It was wonderful and terrible. I’m so glad she’s enjoying it, but I wish I could take away the homesickness. I know she has to work through it. I even remember the girl who gave us our tour the first time saying, “Yeah, sometimes I get homesick, but it’s worth it.” So, I know this is totally normal. But…ugh…hearing her tiny voice saying how much she missed us is hard. Super hard.
Driving alone is definitely my sadness zone. When my brother died everyone was such a wreck and I didn’t feel like I could really lose it in front of my parents, so every time I ended up in the car by myself, my tears would just start leaking. My mom went into the hospital the day after the funeral and that meant lots of time driving back and forth, and man, did I really cry a lot in the car.
One of the ways I knew I was pulling out of my grief over my brother was when I could actively be in the car and enjoy the music I was listening to. I was like, “What is this strange feeling I’m having? Oh, it is the absence of the urge to cry. Weird.”
Today, as I drove home to my empty house (Sylvia at boarding school, Aaron going out of town on business), I felt that sadness kind of well up as I started driving. I recognized it right away and sort of moved myself out of that mental place, because lord knows I don’t need to go down that road right now.
Part of me wonders if I just need to get it out. I mean, I think it is ok to be sad that Sylvia isn’t here every day, even if I know she is in the best place she could possibly be. I can be happy for that, but sad for the time we aren’t together. But on the other hand, you know, REPRESSION: THE MUSICAL.
It’s easy for me to forget, now that I’ve lived outside of St. Louis longer than I lived in it, but St. Louis is racist as fuck. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to get out for college and never wanted to move back.
To be honest, in the last few years I’ve thought it was getting better mostly because when I was young there were strict dividing lines where white and black people lived. I lived a few blocks from one of those lines and it was crazy how it was. When a black family crossed the line to move into the neighborhood, everyone was like, well time to move. But now I see a lot more integrated neighborhoods. Not like FULLY integrated, but obviously neighborhoods that didn’t go all white flight.
My country cousin refused to come stay with me because she was afraid of black people.
When I chose to go to a fully integrated public magnet school, people from my “Christian” school said to me, “but, there are black people there!” My answer should have been, “No shit,” but I think I just stared blankly because I didn’t have the words to tell them why they were assholes.
My mother grew up among racist country folk, but she grew up in the city. Most of my family I would consider institutionally racist, but individually accepting. That is they say racist things when talking about a group of people, but wouldn’t approach or deal with individuals differently because of their race. It’s a particularly frustrating mindset to argue with, because they can’t see how institutional things are behind the “complaints” they have about a group. It’s a little bit the “but I have black friends” mentality.
My mom, however, made the conscious decision to raise me differently. She pointed out racism and made me aware of it. That is not to say my mom doesn’t fall into a lot of racist traps, but she made a big difference in how I looked at the world and is willing to listen when I call her out on racist things.
But, I grew up in St. Louis. I didn’t have black friends. First because I was surrounded by white people. Once I went to high school I was surrounded by a vibrant community, but there is (or was) something about the power of racism in St. Louis, that meant in spite of what I would characterize as great race relations (everyone got along, there was no one you ‘couldn’t’ talk to, no club or sport you couldn’t join, etc) the majority of close friends were single race. There were exceptions and there were lots of black kids I was friendly with, in the sense that we chatted a lot at school, but the kids I did stuff outside of school with were all white. I am not knocking the experience I got, because finally being able to experience life in an integrated community (even if that integration was imperfect) left a huge impression on me. The kids I’m friends with on Facebook now are doctors and lawyers, business owners and moms and dads. That’s what equal access to a great education gets you. But I think the imperfection of that integration, in spite of the fact that there was no reason we should have self-selected that way, shows you the power of segregation and racism in St. Louis. Part of it was geography, the kids who lived closest to me were white. And that, of course, is part of St. Louis’ racism.
I know racism is everywhere, but I know St. Louis style racism better than any other and it is really just really a part of the city psyche.